How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice: The Insider’s Guide

As counselors, when we venture into private practice for the first time, we make the difficult transition from technician to entrepreneur. The immensity of this transition cannot be overstated.

Learn More: Counseling Private Practice Book

You will learn:

(1) How to build a profitable practice will little or no upfront money.

(2) How to market your practice, so that you build a full caseload quickly.

(3) How to price your services, so that you earn the money you need to live the lifestyle you want.

(4) how to… Oh heck, why don’t I just show you the Table of Contents!? ….


101: Planning a Private Practice

Lesson 1: Prelude & Introduction

Lesson 2: Should I Start a Private Practice?

Lesson 3: The Bootstrapper’s Approach to Private Practice

Lesson 4: Business, Risk, and The Counselor

Lesson 5: How Much Money Can I make in Private Practice?

Lesson 6: Six Rumors About Accepting Health Insurance


201: Building a Private Practice

Lesson 7: A Case for Accepting Clients’ Health Insurance

Lesson 8: The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing a Cash Pay Practice

Lesson 9: 17 Reasons Your Insurance Claims are Denied

Lesson 10: Fee Setting for Records Requests, Court Appearances, and More

Lesson 11: How to Specialize Your Practice

Lesson 12: Why the Life Coach is Eating the Counselor’s Lunch!

Lesson 13: Creating a Counseling Office that Wows Clients

Lesson 14: Making Good First Impressions: 9 Practical Tips

301: Growing a Private Practice

Lesson 15: Forty Strategies for Building a Full Caseload

Lesson 16: Private Practice and Social Marketing

Lesson 17: How to Prevent and Manage Negative Online Reviews

Lesson 18: Improving Client Retention: 7 Ethical Strategies

Lesson 19: Protecting Client Privacy in the Electronic Age

Lesson 20: Electronic Health Records in Today’s Private Counseling Practice

Lesson 21: Should I Grow my Solo Practice into a Group Practice?

401: Online Counseling – A Primer

Lesson 22: Clinical Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Counseling

Lesson 23: Online Counseling: Looking Back 10 Years

Lesson 24: What Online Counseling won’t do for Your Practice

Lesson 25: How to Become an “Online Famous” Therapist

Lesson 26: Online Networking with Counseling Clients

Lesson 27: Words of Encouragement

Learn More: Counseling Private Practice Book

Thriveworks helping counselors build successful practices

Thriveworks Counseling is helping private practice owners build their counseling practices via a series of unique services. Services include:

  • Scheduling support
  • Website creation and maintenance
  • Marketing assistance
  • A premium model of counseling services

For more information on starting a Thriveworks practice, visit

Marketing a Counseling Practice: Don’t Censor Your Fans!

Hi Readers!

I’m really excited to write this article, which is going to talk briefly about what not to do after you have done the hard work of creating a “raving fan” of your counseling practice.

First, Remember. Getting Raving Fans is the Goal!

In a previous post we talked about how you need to make a great impression on a client to turn him or her into a raving fan. You need to go above and beyond their expectations, provide outstanding service and care, and make for them a “remarkable” experience that they can’t help but to tell their friends about.

Once you accomplish this, and you have clients who are talking about you, writing about you, singing about you, etc., there is something very important you need to do. Ready? This is what you need to do: Stay Out of Their Way! It took a lot of fuel to get that car moving… don’t hit the brakes!

In fact, the only reason you should intervene, is to help (or incentivize) your fans to continue talking about (and promoting) your counseling service.

Isn’t This Common Sense? Don’t Quiet your Cheerleaders?

This seems like common sense, right? Maybe not—companies are making mistakes left and right when it comes to trying to manage their fans. They don’t know when to let go and let their customers spread the word about them, and generate business for them.

It can be difficult for companies to give up that control! And it can feel scary to have persons talking about your business. For sure, your customers won’t market your counseling practice the way you market your counseling practice. They will do it their way.

Your client might post about you in chat rooms. She might blog about her counseling sessions. She might mention that you wore an ugly sweater on Wednesday (my clients have told their friends that I wear brightly colored socks. Not exactly what my marketing message is, but I’ll take it! Obviously, I made an impression, and it’s true! My dress socks are yellow, green, red, light blue, and even pink!).

If your customer (or client / patient) is speaking about his or her experience with your brand / service – don’t censor this! Learn to get comfortable being reviewed (even if it’s mixed. Even if it’s a negative review). And learn to love your clients’ creative and unorthodox methods of spreading the word about your product (which is an exceptional counseling practice, right?).

A Real-Life Example of What Not to Do

I have an example of a company that just this week (Black Friday Week, even!) contacted me to ask me to remove a blog post I wrote that promoted their company. Guys, again. Don’t ever do this!

Here’s the email:


Hi Anthony! I hope this email finds you well. I was doing some

searching on the internet and noticed you posted up our entire Black

Friday email on your wordpress blog

This was a special offer sent out only to our previous customers, and

not intended to be posted up for the public to see. I would appreciate

it if you removed the coupon code and email entirely.  Thanks so much

and please let me know if you have any other questions.

[Name Removed]



[Company Name Removed]


This is a polite email, for sure… but still, it’s the opposite message you want to send to your fans. I had been promoting “Company X” in my writing, speaking, and consulting for some time. Recently, I took an email they sent me about a sale, and posted it so that my readers (you!) could know about it–helping my readers get a deal, and “Company X” get more sales! Sounds good right? Not to the marketing department at “Company X” … how unfortunate! How backwards!

More Articles on Marketing a Counseling Practice

I’m going to be writing on this topic more, for sure. However, there are a few books available that talk about viral marketing, and creating Raving Fans, that I would recommend.

  1. What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
  2. Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
  3. The Gift Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
  4. The Referral Generator by John Jantsch

Thanks for reading. If you’re looking for help building a counseling practice, check out our innovative practice building service at, and be well! – Dr. Anthony Centore